Cybersecurity Awareness Month: What It Is And Why It’s Important

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Most of us would have seen the news headlines about the most significant cyber attack in Australian history, with the country’s second-largest telecommunications provider, Optus, being hacked. The telco giant confirmed that about 9.8 million customers were caught up in this cyber attack.  As we start Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Australian authorities have urged businesses to prioritise cybersecurity awareness training in the wake of the Optus data breach. 

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a global initiative introduced in 2004 by the US government to help everyone stay safe and protected when using technology whenever and however you connect.  

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 commences on 3 October and runs until 30 October 2022 in Australia. This year the overarching theme is “Have you been hacked?” which is designed to help individuals and businesses gain the needed knowledge to answer these three essential questions: 

  1. Would you know if you had been hacked?
  2. What can you do if you have been hacked?
  3. What can you do in the future to minimise your chance of being hacked? 

For many organisations, it’s the perfect time to reinforce cybersecurity awareness and jump-start a training program with the countless resources available. However, before we dive into how to use this Cybersecurity Awareness Month to your advantage, let’s understand the role of cybersecurity awareness in keeping your employees and organisation safe.

2022 Cybersecurity Awareness Month Theme and Focuses

Cybersecurity is not limited to Government or critical infrastructure. Cybercriminals target Australians and Australian businesses daily, and cybersecurity is about protecting our people and our services.

Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to circumvent the latest defensive tools and technologies, landing themselves in the inboxes and browsers of your employees. In 2021 alone, 85% of data breaches involved the human element, with 94% of malware delivered via email.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a reminder for all Australians and Australian businesses to stay secure online and practice good cyber hygiene.

The weekly themes for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Australia are:

  • Week 1 (3-9 October 2022) – Theme: Have you been hacked? 
  • Week 2 (10-16 October 2022) – Theme: Is your email secure? 
  • Week 3 (17-23 October 2022) – Theme: How do you act now to stay secure? 
  • Week 4 (24-30 October 2022) – Theme: It’s time to take action!

In the next few weeks, we will dive into each sub-theme to explain the information and tools made available by ACSC to help you assess if you have been hacked. 

Prevention is Better Than Cure 

It has become necessary to enforce cybersecurity awareness throughout all organisational levels and functions. One of the most effective ways to secure your business, assets, and data is to launch an ongoing cybersecurity awareness training for all your employees. 

Launching an effective cybersecurity awareness training program this October to protect your business can be an effective way to prevent your business from falling victim to cybercrimes. Make sure you select a program that promotes strong user participation and a positive experience. Here are my three tips on what to look for in a program:

  • Easy to execute, that delivers fun and engaging content. 
  • Content is short and memorable to help your employees identify and avoid common cybersecurity threats. 
  • Recent events and relevant topics on general cybersecurity, ransomware, phishing and identity protection. 

A successful cybersecurity awareness program will enable your employees to identify potential vulnerabilities and assume the best course of action during an attempted cyberattack.

About PhishNet 

PhishNet delivers highly effective, engaging, and affordable cybersecurity awareness training to help businesses mitigate the risks of human error data breaches. 

Talk to PhishNet today to learn more, or click here to download our free Cyber Awareness Poster.